If you’re like me and have only recently dipped your toe into the Philips Hue ecosystem, then you’ll be aware of the need for a hub for all your fancy new lights. This is the 2nd gen (square) hub, which is a step up from the original 1st gen (round) hub. The big difference between the two, beside the shape, is that the 2nd gen ships with a HomeKit code, and you know what that means! If you have the 1st gen, you’re out of luck trying to get your Hue lights to appear in HomeKit, so an upgrade will be necessary.
I won’t spend too much time one what the bridge does, as it’s just a bridge – it simply helps all your Hue gear work together, but additionally it exposes your Hue products to HomeKit, which isn’t possible otherwise. So if you’re going Hue, and want HomeKit functionality, this is the device you need.
Philips often do bundles, where you get a hub and a few bulbs in one nicely priced package, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for one of these. There are all sorts of bundles, from a Hub with two warm white bulbs, to a Hub and four full colour bulbs, and even a package comprising of a wireless switch, a Hub and a few bulbs, so there’s something for most needs.
This bridge needs to connect to your router and will only connect via an ethernet connection, so even though its a sort of wireless device (Zigbee) when it communicates with other Hue devices, it still needs a wired connection to the internet and to HomeKit.